Old vs. New Forms of Leadership

Comparisons Between Traditional and Collaborative Leadership Behaviors

The chart below identifies a variety of characteristics by which collaborative leadership behaviors, styles, and tendencies differ from the traditional leadership models which held sway for centuries before the advent of democratic forms of social organization and throughout the eras of agricultural and industrial economies. Because it’s a chart, it is often oversimplified and in need of explanation and clarification. Nonetheless, it can be useful as a general guide to understanding the differences between the old and new ways of doing leadership.

 Characteristic  Traditional Approaches  Collaborative Approach

Market Forces Stability     Rapid change in technology & society 
Time Frame Short-term objectives             Long-term Mission, Vison, & Values 
Focus Bottom-line, product Shared mission, win/win
Operating Norms One-time events, crises On-going relationships, processes
 Problem Analysis Simple cause-effect Overlapping boundaries, systemic
Work Structure Division of labor  Cross-disciplinary teams
Work Process Bureaucracy, rules, regulations   Networks, shared visions, long-term mission focus
Change Driven by necessity and crisis Driven by innovation and continuous learning
Impact Local Global

Power Structure Hierarchies Networks & Communities 
Power Flow Top-down All directions
Power Relationships Command & Control  Service to Others 
Authority Received Authority  Fluid Authority & Authenticity
Information Proprietary/Guarded  Shared Across Boundaries
Goals & Ideals Efficiency through routine/mechanization  Innovation through creativity/life-long learning & self-renewal 
Leadership Focus Recognition of position/people as a means to an end  Recognition ot the individual/people as ends in themselves 
Leadership Approach People as strictly physical creatures  People as complex spiritual beings 
Leadership Tactics Fear, manipultion, charisma  Example, empowerment, persuasion, humor, wisdom 
Work Environment Separation, segregation, & self-centeredness  Integration, empathy, & compassion for others 
Participation Homogeneity Diversity 
Education Formal, separate from work life  Continuous, life-long, integrated with work & life 
Work Values Succeed of fail Experiement & learn 
Work Relationships Self-reliance & autonomy  Interdepedence 
Problem-Solving Strictly linear & logical     Acceptance of paradox & ambiguity
Interaction with Environment Instrumental & exploitative Based on Stewardship & integrity 
Management Style Risk Reduction Responsible Risk 
Reward Structure Immediate goals Long-term comprehensive learning 
Outcomes Either/or, win/lose Both/and, win/win
Personal values & Behaviors    
Projected Image Invulnerability & physical courage  Flexibility, growth, intellectual/emotional courage 
Orientation to People Low regard for average person  High regard for universal human potential 
Communication Style Talk, give orders, & answer questions Listen, conslut, & ask questions 
Motivating Tactics Reward, threat, & demand compliance  Discern others' needs, coach, facilitate, & generate commitment 
Information Exchange Trasmit data Tell stories 
Problem-solving Address crises, solve obvious problems Discover problems & meet unstated needs